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Challenges, lessons learned and preparedness: CEI-WHO on the way forward

“Will we ever be able to be prepared for a pandemic?” This was the theme of the 7th meeting of the CEI-WHO Task Force (TF) in response to COVID-19 emergency held on 30 September.

Dorit Nitzan, Acting Regional Director for Emergencies (RED) at WHO Europe, focused her presentation on the lessons learned, useful to countries’ further deliberations. She also dwelled on available tools and instruments for the way forward, relying on the need for accountable leadership, governance and public trust, coupled with strong social values and responsibilities. Investing in preparedness, where nobody is left behind, requiring a comprehensive response planning and health management, is key in this endeavour.

Representatives of Member States exchanged information on lessons learned, discussed what was at stake for the future, how the WHO could assist countries in preparing for the future challenges, and how the TF could be further instrumental to this end. The last months, indeed, had served as a reminder of the importance of collaboration between countries, as well as across different sectors and layers of society, where education and digital literacy should be at the center of attention. A timely dissemination of science-based information to prevent the spread of false information is also crucial.   

At the meeting, the health officials were also informed about the recent CEI Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting where the work done by the TF was highly appreciated and highlighted in the endorsed Communiqué.

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